No. 25 USC Looks To Bounce Back At Colorado On Sunday|
Jan. 14, 2017
The No. 25 USC Trojans (15-3, 2-3) will play the Colorado Buffaloes (10-7, 0-4) in Boulder, Colo. on Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m. (PT). USC is a combined 1-6 overall on the trip to Utah and Colorado since the teams joined in the conference in 2012. USC has lost three of its last four games after beginning the season 14-0. The 14 consecutive wins tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in school history and was the best USC start since the 1971 season. Fans can order tickets to USC's next home game vs. Arizona on Jan. 19 by clicking here Click Here
BREAKING DOWN COLORADO -- Colorado is coming off a 104-89 home loss to UCLA on Jan. 12. The Buffaloes began conference play with road losses to Utah (76-60), Arizona State (78-77) and Arizona (82-73). Derrick White (16.0), Xavier Johnson (15.1) and George King (10.6) are averaging double-figures in scoring. USC trails in the all-time series, 9-4, but won 79-72 at the Galen Center against the Buffaloes in the only meeting between the two schools last season. It snapped USC's seven-game losing streak to Colorado and was its first win against the Buffaloes since they joined the Pac-12 (1-7). USC and Colorado are only scheduled for one game this season.
USC FALL TO HOT-SHOOTING UTAH -- Utah didn't score for the first 4:34 of the game, but more than made up for it the rest of the way, defeating USC 86-64 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Jan. 12. After USC jumped out to a 10-0 start, Utah answered with 11-straight over the next 2:30 to get back in the game. Utah's Devon Daniels hit a three-pointer to put Utah up 16-14 at the 10-minute mark and they never trailed again. Utah closed the first half on a 21-12 run and the Trojans went to the break trailing 44-31. USC cut the lead to 10 points three times in the second half, but never got closer. USC made just 36.7 percent of its shots, while Utah became the Trojans' first opponent to shoot over 50 percent, making 55.2 percent of its shots, including 64.3 percent in the first half. The Utes made 18 of their final 23 shots of the first half. Utah also made 9 of 17 three-point attempts (52.9 percent) in the game. Chimezie Metu led USC with 17 points, while Utah had five score in double figures, led by Daniels' 17. USC lost its eighth consecutive game to Utah.
ARIZONA ON DECK -- USC's next game will at home vs. Arizona (16-2, 2-0) on Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. Arizona is coming off a 91-75 home win over Arizona State on Jan. 12. Arizona has five players averaging at least 10 points per game, led by freshman forward Lauri Markkanen who is averaging 16.7 points per game. USC split 2015-16 seasons series with Arizona, winning 103-101 in 4OT at home and falling 86-78 in Arizona. USC trails 41-63 in the all-time series with Arizona, with both teams having a win vacated due to NCAA penalty. USC has won five of its last seven home games against Arizona.
STILL IN RARIFIED AIR -- USC is one of 39 Division I schools (out of 351) which has three losses or less through games of Jan. 12 and its .833 winning percentage is tied for 18th best in the country.
SWIPERBOYZ -- USC once had Renaldo Woolridge (2013) aka "Swiperboy" on its team, but now features a pair of "Swiperboyz" in freshmen De'Anthony Melton and Jonah Mathews. Melton (32) and Mathews (21) have combined for 53 steals or an average of 2.94 per game. The pair are second and tied for 13th respectively among Pac-12 players in total steals. The original Swiperboy was not only a basketball player, but a talented singer/songwriter and just released a new cut Cali Girl on soundcloud on Dec. 17, 2016. It was released on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify on Jan. 12 and will premier on Los Angeles' Power 106 soon.
GLANCING TOWARDS GALEN -- USC will be happy to return home after this game to where it is 9-1 this season and dating back to the final game of the 2014-15 season, has won 26 of its last 29 games at the Galen Center. Since Dec. 20, USC has played two home games and six road or neutral site games, including tonight. Five of USC's next seven games will be at home.
THE YOUNG WILL LEAD -- USC's roster has only one scholarship senior and two scholarship juniors and 63.6 percent of the minutes played this season (2306 of 3625 minutes) has been by freshmen or sophomores. Ken Pom lists USC 327th in the country in terms of game experience.
SHOOTERS SLOWING THEIR ROLL -- In the last nine games USC is averaging 75.3 points, while making 43.6 percent of its shots, including 36.6 percent from three-point range. In the first nine games, USC averaged 82.7 points, shot 46.3 from the floor and 36.6 from three-point range. USC has made 6.7 three-pointers per game in the last nine contests and made 8.8 per game in the first nine games of the season.
TURNOVERS TAKE A BAD TURN -- USC had a season-high 17 turnovers which lead to 23 points in its 84-61 loss at Oregon on Dec. 30 and followed it up with a season-high 18 turnovers in the win vs. Stanford on Jan. 5. Prior to those two games, USC ranked 11th In the country with 10.5 turnovers per game. Now for the season, USC has commited 11.4 turnovers per game which ranks tied for 31st in the country. USC has committed 205 turnovers compared to its opponent's 228 and enjoys a 285-205 advantage on points off of turnovers. USC has committed more turnovers than its opponent six times this season.
FAULTERING AT THE FOUL LINE -- USC is making 71.9 percent of its free throws this season, but was only 10-for-21 (47.6 percent) in the 74-73 loss vs. California on Jan. 8 and 14-for-26 (53.8 percent) in the loss at Utah on Jan. 12. It the previous seven games they made 80.0 percent (124-for-155). USC as a team has not finished a season shooting over 70 percent from the charity stripe since hitting 71.5 percent of its free throws in the 2007 season. In the last 30 seasons, USC has shot over 70 percent from the free throw line only twice.
METU CONTINUES HIS RISE -- Sophomore Chimezie Metu scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds vs. Stanford on Jan. 5 for his fourth double-double of the season and fifth of his career. He scored a season-high 20 points vs. California on Jan. 8 and in the last 13 games he has averaged 14.6 points (190 total) and 8.0 rebounds (104 total). For the season he is averaging 13.6 points and 7.9 rebounds and leads the team with 33 blocks and 32 dunks, while ranking fourth on the team with 16 steals. He has been a consistent force for the Trojans with double-figures in points and six or more rebounds in 14 of the 18 games this season.